Humidity Control

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Most people are familiar with the importance of humidity control. After all, nearly every home has a humidifier, a dehumidifier, or an air conditioner. Or all three.

The importance of temperature and humidity control systems reaches far beyond the realm of the home. Scientists, researchers and businesses utilize many different types of humidity control systems for a variety of purposes.

Electrical Testing

Humidity control is of paramount importance when it comes to testing electronic products and components. Often times, a temperature-humidity-bias (THB) test is performed on electrical products within a humidity control chamber. These types of systems are also referred to as environmental chambers.

The purpose of the THB test is to check for moisture induced failures within the electrical product. In order to accomplish this, the product must undergo this test, which uses a constant temperature and an elevated relative humidity. Voltage cycling is sometimes necessary in order to prevent the product from heating up.

Package Testing

Environmental chambers are also used to test the durability of packages as they undergo extreme variations in temperature throughout a specific amount of time. Researchers observe how the package responds to the temperature and humidity variations while it is inside the humidity control chamber. Mechanical fatigue and thermal expansion are specifically monitored. Using these tests, researchers can determine the effectiveness of packaging materials, regardless of where they are being shipped.

Product Reliability

A number of products are also tested within humidity chambers. A process known as humidity cycling, or temperature-humidity cycling, is used to assess how moisture induced swelling effects the reliability of the product. Since these environmental chambers are capable of changing in a quick and cyclical nature, they accelerate the natural process of damage caused by moisture absorption and desorption, making it possible to determine the long term effects of environmental changes.

Other Uses for Environmental Test Chambers

There are numerous additional purposes for a humidity control chamber. Walk-in incubators, for example, require humidity control for proper hatching of specimens. Similarly, photographic storage rooms and crystal growth rooms have a need for humidity control. Pharmaceuticals make use of temperature humidity chambers for proper storage of medication. Even restaurants and food processing plants utilize walk-in freezers that require humidity control.

Types of Environment Test Chambers

Environmental laboratory test chambers can be designed to suit any need an application. They are available in walk-in form as well as in reach-in form. Reach-in humidity control chambers are ideal when space is limited, or when only a smaller item needs to be tested in a humidity controlled environment. The walk in humidity control chambers, on the other hand, can be built to any size necessary.

Walk in humidity control chambers generally create the most ideal environment for testing purposes. In addition, they can be built to include refrigeration, heating, dehumidification, humidification, and even lighting.

Controlling Dust Mites in Your Home

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Controlling Dust Mites in Your Home

My guess is that you don’t know much about dust mites except they are small, unseen creatures that disgust you. Perhaps someone in your household is allergic to them. Here is some background information on dust mites and how you can work to control them in your house.

Dust mites don’t live in your air ducts, although most people tend to focus there when attempting to remove them. They live in soft places, prefer higher humidity and release a protein which causes an allergic reaction for many people. If you don’t have any reactions to dust mite proteins then reducing your exposure may not be a priority for you but these basic treatment steps should still be taken to reduce their presence in your home and affect on your life. If you need motivation to do some of these steps you can see pictures of dust mites by doing a google image search. They’re gross enough to scare anyone into a rapid cleaning spree.

1. Dust and vacuum your house on a regular basis. The more dirt you have, the more dust mites you have.
2. Use a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity levels in your home as they prefer high humid environments (anything over 70%)
3. Wash your family’s bedding in hot water at least twice monthly, preferably weekly.
4. Get machine washable plush toys if you have children, the fabric harbors dust mites

If you have someone allergic to dust mites these are more intense combat steps to take:

1. Do your best to eliminate all cloth surfaces as they tend to harbor these creatures
2. Replace your carpets with wood or laminate flooring
3. Remove fabric covered furniture and switch to wood or plastic pieces
4. Wrap your mattress, pillows and box springs in zippered covers that area dust proof and allergen proof.

You probably won’t completely eliminate dust mites, but you can go a long way toward reducing their numbers by maintaining a clean healthy living environment. Your family will thank you for it.

Breaking Mold’s Grip On Your Home

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Your walls may be alive-and not with music. Mold spores growing in your home can cause allergic reactions in you, your pets and your kids. Fortunately, it can be easy to banish mold from your house.

The issue of mold continues to be an important topic to builders, homeowners and governmental agencies. Of late it has reached an even higher level of awareness, as plans are made for rebuilding the Gulf Coast. Unfortunately, there is much confusion concerning mold, as well as effective solutions for preventing it.

Experts say the best way to avoid mold in your home is to control moisture. In the summertime, when humidity is highest, this often means running air conditioners or a dehumidifier.

Here are some more things you can do to avoid mold in your home:

• Keep kitchen and bathroom windows open, or use exhaust fans to move moisture outside.

• Make sure your clothes dryer is vented to the outdoors.

• Dehumidify your basement-the floor and walls can be a source of moisture buildup.

• Similarly, be sure the attic is ventilated.

• Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces by adding insulation around windows, piping, exterior walls, roofing and floors.

• Act quickly if your basement or crawl space floods, both in terms of cleaning up and preventing future flooding.

• Mold-resistant materials play an important role in minimizing mold growth. However, unless mold-resistant products are installed in homes and buildings that are designed, built and maintained properly, they offer little protection against mold.

 

Dehumidifiers

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When constructed properly and with the appropriate air conditioning and ventilation, a basement should be dry. But many basements are particularly prone to dampness because of their poor design and ventilation. Dampness like this is a perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew, especially in basements where old books, magazines, clothing and suitcases are stored.

When the humidity level goes over 50%, the water vapor in the air can cause furniture to warp, moisture to condense on walls and floors and promote growth of fungus. It will also accelerate wood rot. For those family members with allergies, a basement dehumidifier is crucial to lessen the health risks linked to toxic mold and fungus.

But before you go off to purchase a basement dehumidifier, consider taking some time to investigate the reason behind the high humidity, and then repairing the underlying problems. For example, your basement should ideally be the same temperature as the rest of your house, and not an isolated cool temperature zone. Try adding weather-stripping to any basement doors and windows. If the basement is uninsulated, you’ll have to weigh the costs of adding insulation against that of running a basement dehumidifier.

Buying a basement dehumidifier will require a little planning. Know the cubic footage of the basement space that it will be going into. Also you will need to decide on getting a permanently installed unit versus a portable dehumidifier. An other shopping point is to consider are the size of the unit- will it fit in the space you are planning for it? Also be aware that some models are noisier than others, so ask for a demonstration before you buy.

A dehumidifier works on the same principle that refrigerators and air conditioners do. They pass the humid air over a bank of cold coils and in the process extract a good portion of the moisture via condensation. This condensation drips off the coils into collection pockets inside the dehumidifier. Meanwhile the dry air flow, heated somewhat by the extraction of humidity, is directed out of the unit back into the room.

Since the dehumidifier is in the basement and out of the way, many people forget that it requires some maintenance. It is important to empty and clean the collection container inside the unit periodically, otherwise it will be prone to bacterial growth. Some companies manufacture basement dehumidifiers which have no inner collection container, but simply a hose that can be run to a floor drain, and these are a perfect solution to the problem.

Dehumidifiers

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The dehumidifier is considered as an air conditioner that has coils to remove the moisture from the air. Its coils come with hot and cold and a fan that would let the air conditioner to condense the moisture created by the cold coils of the dehumidifier. It will then produce a dry air that will go through the hot coil to bring back its original temperature.

The dehumidifier is not anymore needed if there is an air conditioner available in the room. The air conditioner may do the process of dehumidifying the moisture in the room. Most households experience some problems when there is too much and too little moisture in the air.

This is the reason why many encounter problems of dry skin and itchy skin. The discomfort of having an air that is too dry may also lead to the cracking of furniture surfaces. The blocking of nasal passages would also be experienced because of the dry air produced by the moisture.

An air that is slightly wet can also cause the same problems on the skin and to the nasal passages. The continuous condensation of the moisture in windows, the expansion of molds, and the cause of rotten wood products is the effect of the dry air that is not removed. That is why it is important to have a dehumidifier in the house. To have an idea on what kind of dehumidifier to choose, here are some dehumidifier purchase costs:

1. It can be an option to have a dehumidifier that is a heat pump. These items are more complex because they are only limited. The prices of these dehumidifiers are affordable. It is advisable to buy when springtime comes where $50 to $100 of savings is offered to buyers in this season.

2. Find a dehumidifier that has a two-speed fan. These units produce less noise and gives low humidity that lessens the efficiency factor. Try to check the units before buying it. Consider the noise it produces if in case the unit will be placed near the bedrooms.

3. Buy units of dehumidifiers that have a rating of 10 L (21 U.S. pints or 2.1 imperial gallon) a day. These units may fit on those small houses that have an average moisture resistance. Their prices may range from $200 to $250 per unit. While those dehumidifiers that have 20 L (42 U.S. pints or 4.2 imperial gallons) a day rating can cost $250 to $300 per unit. These units are best for big and town houses.

4. It is not advisable to buy chemical absorbent dehumidifiers. These units are only suitable for places that have hot and weather climates.

5. Look for the (EF) or the Efficiency Factor of the unit. This is the guide to know the amount of the dehumidifier’s operation cost. There are provided information on the brochure of the unit where the operator’s manual can give the instruction on how to get the EF. There is also a label that will indicate the EF if there are no manuals available on the brochure. The label can be found at the back of the water collection bucket section.

This information on dehumidifiers may help buyers how to choose the right unit for their home. Always check the manufacturer’s reputation on selling the said product. Always look for the quality of the unit and ask for the guarantees and warranties of the unit.